Are Your Kids Ready for Adulthood? Five Easy Tips to Guide Them in the Right Direction by Dr. Terry Noble

Sealevelnov07They’ve been raised in an age of excess consumption, where plastic surgery and flashy cars are doled out as high school graduation gifts. Some experts say catering to kids’ self-esteem instead of teaching them about responsibility has left them poorly equipped to deal with adulthood. Armed with cell phones, laptops and their parents’ cash, they have a sense of entitlement like no generation before them.

Parents are quickly tiring of their children’s expectation of having everything handed to them. Children today believe the good things in life should be theirs for the taking.  What they are not being taught is the reality of the situation: you must actually WORK for them!

Dr. Terry Noble, author of the new book, “Starting at Sea Level,” (Foggy River Books, 2007) shares parents’ concerns.  He believes today’s generation would benefit from doing some real work. “Too many kids today are being coddled, accomplishing nothing and conning their parents into taking care of them until they are thirty,” says Noble.  “We need to show kids from an early age that we have expectations of them.  Elementary age children are capable of learning to do chores around the house and the responsibility level should increase as they mature.”

What steps can be taken to instill responsibility into our disillusioned youth?  Here are Five Easy Tips that will help you guide them in the right direction:

1. Cut Their Allowance to Zero
Taking away your child’s allowance lets them know that you are not a personal ATM.  They must earn their pocket money themselves.

2. Whatever Happened to Chores?
Instead of lining your children’s pockets for contributing nothing to the household, why not pay them for cutting the lawn, taking out the garbage or sweeping the porch?

3. Give Them Responsibility at a Young Age
Children are chomping at the bit for some responsibility by the ages of 8 and 9.  Why not teach them responsibility with jobs that they can handle such as putting away the dishes and clearing the table after a meal?

4. Get Them Moving
What are they learning sitting on the sofa?!  Getting kids away from the television and video games will help them not only with their physical health, but will also force them to interact with their peers…a skill that seems to be on the decline in our “virtual” world.

5. Be a Positive Role Model
Children lack suitable role models, mostly due to everyone being so darn busy.  Lead your child by example – taking the time to listen to their daily lives will translate into them caring about others.

Remember, your kids won’t be kids forever. The time you spend showing them responsibility shapes not only their adulthood, but also the future values they’ll pass down to their own children someday. Says Noble, “If you want your kids to know you care about them and to know what’s important in life, you have to show them firsthand.”